Revealed: The 50 people, projects and products shaping the UK’s ed tech

The Edtech 50 celebrates the work of the education technology sector in the UK, and shines a spotlight on those pioneering a new future in education through technology

In 2017, we saw innovative, creative and exciting educational technology transform teaching and learning throughout the UK’s schools.

From vlogging teachers to student wellbeing apps to an interactive book experience, schools, companies and technologists have pushed classrooms into the future and provided pupils with new tools for learning, interacting and living.

And today, the Edtech 50 celebrates them.

The list, published by Edtech UK in partnership with Jisc, shines a spotlight those who have helped to shape the dynamic education technology sector in the past year.

Included are Women EdTech, Tes FE Awards winner Basingstoke College of Technology and maths teacher and times-table enthusiast Bruno Ready.

Also named were Global Teacher Prize finalist Colin Hegarty; Sam Chaudhary, co-founder of the popular behaviour management software ClassDojo; and the ImOKayApp, which has helped thousands of pupils by providing real-life stories about sexuality and gender, simple definitions and support services.

Ed tech ‘can transform lives’

Jisc CEO Paul Feldman said: “When done right, ed tech has the potential to transform lives for the better, helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their full potential, and helping us to build the digital skills base that will be so critical to the UK’s global competitiveness in the years to come.

“The Edtech 50 show us how education technology can be a catalytic force for digital innovation in teaching and learning in partnership and collaboration with teachers and learners.”

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: “Technology offers educators a wealth of opportunities to support effective and proven teaching practices, as well as increased support for themselves, their institutions and their students. However, we know it can sometimes be difficult to implement new technology or gain access to the evidence and equipment educators need.

“The benefits of digital technology are often seen as innovation that only digital experts can achieve, but that shouldn’t be the case. This is why the sector must come together to support this change. I welcome this new initiative to highlight and celebrate many of the people, products and projects that have most impacted education.”

Ty Goddard, director of Edtech UK, said: “The Edtech50 has been chosen from a mixture of public nominations and the insight of our judging panel. It has been a challenging and exciting process.

“The Edtech50 helps us all celebrate a wonderful sector, whilst recognising the benefits of education technology, and acknowledging the economic advantages of the growing edtech sector to the whole UK economy.”

The EdTech 50 was compiled by public nomination and the insight of the judging panel.

The judges included: ICT evangelist Mark Anderson; learning technology apprentice at Basingstoke College of Technology, Sky Caves; entrepreneur and investor Sherry Coutu; director of education at Microsoft UK, Ian Fordham; principal of Portsmouth College, Steve Frampton; director at the Education Foundation, Ty Goddard; Jisc’s futurist, Martin Hamilton; headteacher Claire Price; entrepreneur and investor Dan Sandhu; programme director for digital schoolhouse at UKIE, Shahneila Saeed; teacher Bukky Yusuf; and IT director Peter O’Rourke.

The Edtech 50


1. Naimish Gohil (@Team_Satchel)

2. Vikki Liogier (@vikkiliogier)

3. Sam Chaudhary (@samchaudhary_)

4. Duncan Wilson (@Classcharts)

5. Martin McKay (@texthelp)

6. Dr Ross Parry (@rossparry)

7. Bethany Koby (@bethanykoby)

8. Vivi Friedgut @ViviFriedgut

9. Maths x5

10. Katy Potts @katypotts

11. James Kieft @james_kieft

12. Paul Rose @YouTeachMe

13. Funders – six of the best

14. Melissa Highton

15. Laura Paterson (@SCi_TechEDU)

16. Bertie Hubbard (@Bertie_Hubbard/@MyTutor)

17. Educators



18. SpyQuest @SpyQuest (pictured)

19. Mindful Education

20. Night Zookeeper @nightzookeeper

21. SAM Labs STEAM Kit

22. now>press>play 

23. Curiscope @curiscope

24. Clicker7 Crick Software @Cricksoft

25. Raspberry Pi Zero

26. VEO @VEO_app

27. Micro:bit

28. FutureLearn @FutureLearn

29. Firefly

30. Kano

31. GIS 4 Schools Esri UK (@GIS4Schools)

32. Little Bridge

33. Kortext

34. Minecraft Edu

35. E-cadets Ltd Products

36. Reading & Writing



37. Basingstoke College of Technology (@BCoT) (pictured)

38. The Shirelands Team, Smethwick, West Midlands (@ShirelandCA/ @ShirelandTP)

39. ImOKApp and project

40. Flipped Learning/Online Resource, HELM Open

41. Coding for the Future: Five exceptional and far-sighted coding related projects:

42. Women Edtech (@WomenEd_Tech)

43. Edtech Podcast @PodcastEdtech

44. Power of the network/s

45. Glow Programme, Scotland

46. National Digital Learning Council, Wales

47. London Grid for Learning

48. Blended Learning Consortium / Heart of Worcestershire College

49. Pioneering imaginative employability approaches

50. Developing digital skills: Four exceptional computing and digital skills initiatives


Sky’s the limit as pupils use drones to help new tech lessons take flight

Fourth-class pupils (from left) Tommy Gallagher, Madeleine Walsh, Elaina Molloy, and Kate Melody (all 10) and Cian Feeney (12), in sixth class, are given an opportunity to be creative with Lego robots at Attymass National School, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Fourth-class pupils (from left) Tommy Gallagher, Madeleine Walsh, Elaina Molloy, and Kate Melody (all 10) and Cian Feeney (12), in sixth class, are given an opportunity to be creative with Lego robots at Attymass National School, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Pupils will use drone cameras to record footage of local landscapes to share with geography classes in other schools, in an experimental project supported by the Department of Education.

Six schools coming together for the cutting-edge creation of their own classroom content represent one of 87 education clusters receiving funding to explore innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

The newly established School Excellence Fund encourages collaboration in the use of digital technology, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), tackling disadvantage and creativity.

It is the first time resources have been put in place to encourage schools to work together locally to trial ideas. Third-level colleges and industry may also join in.

Clusters will be expected to report on the impact of their projects and consider how the learning can be spread to all schools.

The 87 clusters involve more than 265 primary and post-primary schools.

They were announced by Education Minister Richard Bruton who said the level of interest had exceeded expectations with “some very novel approaches”.

The drone camera project involves Temple Carrig School in Greystones, Co Wicklow, and five other schools in Dublin and Co Westmeath. It is one of 32 digital clusters, involving more than 200 schools, which will receive up to €20,000 funding each over the next three years.

Other digital projects include one involving six gaelscoileanna in Dublin and Kildare hoping to improve computational-thinking skills through the use of robotic materials, with particular emphasis on expanding the range of resources available in Irish.

Another, bringing together 12 primary schools in Mayo and Sligo, led by Attymass NS, Ballina, will focus on what digital training works best for teachers.

At least 32 schools, in 10 clusters, are being supported in STEM projects – drones feature again in work by four Co Kerry primary schools and local manufacturing giant Liebherr.

Meanwhile, six schools in Co Offaly will build on the legacy of Birr as a former weather station site with a project that aims to have learner-built weather stations for all Midlands schools.

The 10 clusters to benefit from the first round of funding for schools in disadvantaged communities were announced recently and applications are being sought for a second round.

Applications are also now open for the creative strand of the fund.

Irish Independent

Protect your customers from a scammer using your brand!


Do you care about our community?

Are you seriously interested in helping your very own business?

Imagine one of RE/MAX Sales Representatives scammed a customer by handing him over the key to 187 Checkerberry property for US$12,000 and later removed him with threats in October 2016. The staff had scammed countless by inviting them to invest in the Canadian real estate sector, and is still acting on behalf of the company – minting money and RAPPING YOUR IMAGE! Looks like it’s from a movie, Eh!


The issue:

Your customers are the life blood of your business. Most of your staff, associates and business partners will reach out to your customers in good faith to genuinely sell the products or services your company stands for, but there are others that will attempt to  leave your business out of pocket.

Ultimately, you are responsible for making sure this does not happen – failure to do so might mean that  sales are not guaranteed, do not turn into revenue and also leave you liable for costs related to any fraudulent business dealings.

There are simple things you can do to help prevent fraud, guarantee sales and protect your bottom line. Just as you need to know your customer to successfully market your products and services to them, it is equally important to know who you’re working with to protect your business.

The threats:

Fraudsters posing as your business partners can use a number of methods to deceive you –  the use of forged identify or someone else’s credentials to land as an immigrant here, or attempt to build a trusting relationship with you before joining your business.

Whichever way it may happen, falling victim to employee fraud could leave you directly out of pocket. This could be through loss of both the goods/services and their payment – or you can also suffer losses indirectly through having to pay administrative costs associated with the terms and conditions of your banking arrangements.

Self protect:

The key to protecting yourself is to take time to assess the associate’s profile and the transactions they are involved in. Using your common business sense here is essential – you will often know when something isn’t quite right and, even though it may sound clichéd, there is a lot of sense in remembering that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some of the things you can do.

Receiving payments:

The most common employee fraud is abusing methods of payment for goods and services. Make sure your sales are guaranteed and learn how to protect your business.

Watch out for suspicious deals:

Your intuition can often be the best judge of whether an employee interaction seems right, but some of the following tips could help you to pin-point suspicious behaviour:

a) Irregular purchasing patterns – including larger than usual sales, multiple purchases of the same property, a series of rapid transactions from a new sales staff, or a change in behaviour from a regular associate.
b) Requests to dodge your processes – whether for payment, invoicing, delivery and so on.
Lack of interest in the property and asking few questions on its details, particularly if it’s high value.
c) Delivery irregularities – whilst there could be a perfectly legitimate explanation for the above, they could also be an indicator of fraud. Observe patterns such as not letting other access a property, or making excuses, or requesting duplicate keys, or inviting friends and non-business contacts at the customer property, or using facilities other than intended purposes. If in doubt, then follow-up by asking for more information.
d) Receiving a cheque for more money than the product or service is being sold. The fraudster will usually ask for you to return the difference before the funds have been cleared and ultimately the cheque will bounce.
e) Whilst there could be a perfectly legitimate explanation for the above, they could also be an indicator of fraud. If in doubt, follow up by asking for more information.

Is your associate really who they say they are?

If you are in any doubt about a transaction, make sure to gather as much information as possible to establish your associate is legitimate.
Ask common sense questions around the nature and purpose of the deal or request a form of identification or proof of address to check they match the details you’ve been given.

Online article here:

Get in touch with me to learn more about my services!


Dr Fran Bemson
Expert Access to Justice
European Union

Conferences an Education Entrepreneur must attend this year


Every year, thousands of educators, innovators, and education entrepreneurs gather around the globe for various meetings, summits, and conferences. Throughout my career as an educator, I’ve been to many education and technology conferences.

This year, I’m starting a new series highlighting the conferences that bring together innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs from around the world. The recommendations below are based on my experience as a teacher, with input from others who have shared some golden gems.

The meetings below provide education entrepreneurs with the ability to network with like-minded people, learn from teachers, share their innovative ideas, and find new capital opportunities.

To highlight this series, here are my recommendations:

1. ASU-GSV Summit, April 16-18, San Diego

This is edtech’s go-to convening, and is a “not to miss” for investors and entrepreneurs. Deborah Quazzo, Mike Moe, and the GSV and ASU teams pull together three full days of programming and keynotes. This is the best conference for investors to attend who are looking to get a lay of the land and spot promising new ideas and investments. Their back-to-back company presentations make it convenient for investors who want to learn about and meet as many edtech companies as possible.

2. Close It Summit, October 15-18, Brooklyn

You can’t have a conversation today about education without also discussing the talent development and the future of work. The Close It Summit is ahead of its time. This year, the conference is entitled: SHIFT Happens: Work+Learn Futures. U.S. News & World Report will join the Summit as a media partner, and Whiteboard Advisors and JobsFirst NYC will participate as leading strategic partners. Keynotes will include top CEOs from innovative Fortune 1000 companies, leading educational programs, and leading tech strategists. Attendance will continue to include industry, philanthropy, venture capital and national education and workforce leaders sharing their views of the shift in work and learn models with themes to include innovation, automation and technology. Close It is the “don’t miss” event for employment tech, a sector that has quickly overlapped and complemented education technology.

3. ISTE Conference, June 24-27, Chicago

With more than 16,000 educators and 550 exhibitors, ISTE is recognized as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world. Educators, administrators, technology coordinators, library media specialists and more travel to this premier EdTech conference to engage in hands-on learning, connect with top education experts, participate in hundreds of sessions and enjoy world-class keynotes.

4. EDUCAUSE, October 30-November 2, Denver

Like ISTE, EDUCAUSE is a grand event. With over 300 sessions and over 700 presenters, it’s the place to be if you want to learn from CIOs, edtech directors, and technology-minded faculty. At EDUCAUSE, professionals and technology providers from around the world gather to network, share ideas, grow professionally, and discover solutions to today’s challenges. There’s a great deal of critical content generated from those working directly in higher education, and the exhibit hall will enable you to get a glance of the entire sector.

5. BrainStorm Conference, March 4-6, Wisconsin Dells

The goal of the BrainStorm Conference is for K-20 techs to network with their counterparts and connect with technology vendors who cater to the K-20 community. The heart of the conference is the exchange of ideas among fellow education technologists and education tech vendors. Attendees make connections that last through the years and learn from expert technology professionals. With more than 120 technology-focused sessions, guests hear from industry leaders. At this conference, you can learn new skills, and check out cutting-edge products that make work easier and more productive. They also highly focus on infrastructure, servers, storage, security, networking, hardware selection, system management and other related technical areas.

6. SXSWedu, March 5-8, Austin

The SXSWedu conference is internationally recognized for its captivating sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences and networking events. SXSWedu provides attendees with an environment that nurtures innovation in learning and connects educators to work towards the goals of impacting the future of education.

7. ACT-W National Conference and ChickTech, April 10-13, Phoenix

ChickTech is a conference hosted by a nonprofit to inspire more females to pursue a career in technology.

ChickTech is hosting its first annual ACT-W National Conference. This conference includes 2,500 influential leaders and professionals holding speaking sessions, educational training workshops, one-on-one coaching, a career and exhibit fair, after-hours activities, networking, and more. All proceeds go towards providing free STEM education programs to local high school girls and expanding the global ChickTech network to truly impact the reach of women in tech.

ACT-W National is an engaging three-day conference where talented women and supporters in tech can accelerate their careers by connecting with organizations and leaders in the community. The conference includes speaking sessions, “training the trainer” workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, after hours parties, networking, and more.

ChickTech’s development of high school workshop programs for girls and giving them access to female role models to spark interest in STEM fields and ultimately improve female representation in tech— the conference is a reflection of just that and a chance for women to further education themselves about the field of technology.

8. CampusInsight, April 16-20, Orland0

This year marks the 30th anniversary of CampusInsight, bringing together hundreds of college and university leaders from around the world to discuss their perspectives on how new technology can help to meet the educational needs and career goals of students and institutions.

This is a can’t-miss event for edtech professionals. At a time when higher ed. continues to face major headwinds such as shrinking student populations, increased competition and budgetary constraints – colleges are at a critical moment in history. They need to leverage technology to help drive student success and manage the student journey to benefit students and the schools themselves.

Continued from page 1

9. CUE – Computer Using Educators, March 14-17, Palm Springs

This conference is a good introduction to computers and technology for teachers and site administrators.

They provide teachers with tools that can be used in the classroom immediately, and it’s appealing to all levels of teachers – from novices to tech experts. It is an essential conference for teachers who want to learn how to use technology, and for administrators who want to know how to support that use. It’s also a great place for connecting with established companies that offer technology that teachers can use in their classrooms every day.

10. Reimagine Education, December 2018, Pennsylvania

As disclosure, last year for the first time, I served as an unpaid judge for the Reimagine Education Conference. I found the talent, innovation, and startups to be fascinating. Reimagine Education aims to acknowledge and reward those most successful in creating transformational educational initiatives, enhancing student learning outcomes and employability. Google, Microsoft, IBM are just a few companies that support Reimagine Education.

Each year, over 1,000 educational innovators from all the world submit their projects to their 17 Award Categories at no cost. The overall winner receives $50,000 in total funding for their award-winning project.

According to their site, delegates can:

  • Participate and choose the year’s champions of educational innovation. Reimagine Education Award Winners are selected by the judging panel and by the delegates at the conference;
  • Present in front of a global audience! All shortlisted applicants for the Reimagine Education Awards are eligible to present their project at the conference.
  • Network with innovators from across the educational landscape, and form collaborations with those they met;
  • Discuss key issues facing the world’s educators, from the future of work, to potential uses of virtual reality in the classroom; from the need to create new learning spaces, to the future of the university itself;
  • Meet other delegates from groundbreaking ed tech companies, providing an opportunity to identify valuable investment opportunities.

Rich Baxter, a current educator from Toronto states, “Reimagine Education Awards and Conference is an important community for me to belong. I respect that UPenn GSE and Wharton consider social justice to be important, and as a public school teacher working in a large urban school district, this conference has opened my mind to what’s happening in the world of edtech and beyond.”

Thank you to those who helped me to identify the best conferences this year.

This appreciation goes out to Rich Baxter, Educator, Lauren Cranston from Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, Marilyn KoziatekDirector of Communications and Development at Granada Hills Charter School, Andrew Bagrin, Founder and CEO of OmniNet, Jenna Schuette Talbot, Senior VP, Whiteboard Advisors, Tom Crilley, Communications Director, Squirrels LLC, and Amrita Singh
, from KCSA Strategic Communications.


Robyn Shulman is a certified K-9 teacher, and the Senior Editor for 51Talk, China. She is also the founder of EdNews Daily, a resource for teachers, parents, edtech entrepreneurs and startups.

via Forbes

Join our ‘EdSurge Live’ discussion on Future of VR in Higher Education


Will the classroom of the future be strapped to students’ faces? Colleges are experimenting with the latest wave of virtual-reality technology, which proponents see as opening up a new frontier in experiential education.

But the technology also raises questions—both logistical (how do you lead a group of students on a VR field trip?) and ethical (will the tech end up furthering social isolation?).

To address these and other questions, we’re holding a live video discussion on Tuesday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m. CT. We’ll be streaming live from the SXSWedu conference in Austin, but anyone can jump in from their computer.

We’ll be joined by two guests to get the conversation started and answer your questions:

Maya Georgieva, director of digital learning for the The New School.

Rob Kadel, assistant director of research in education innovation at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

Sign up for the virtual event here. Hope to see you there.



Flipgrid is where social learning happens. Every student has a voice. Let’s amplify

Flipgrid is a video-based discussion platform you can use to engage your students in a wide variety of learning experiences. The way it works is very simple: as a teacher you create a grid for your class, then you add a topic for discussion and students share their responses in short recorded videos. Students can also view and reply to each others video feedback and build a dynamic interactive learning community. As the creator of a grid, you get access to different moderating features that include the ability to password lock your grid and approve videos before they are shared with others in your grid community. And if you have a classroom blog or website, you can easily embed your grids and videos there.

There are different ways to use Flipgrid in your instruction. You can use it for formative assessment or to gather students feedback about a topic or event. It can also be a good homework tool students draw on to record their replies to homework questions. Additionally, students can use Flipgrid in immersive literacy projects including: a book or movie review,  group discussions of a particular topic, record video explainers of learning processes, create tutorials and visual guides and many more. The strength of Flipgrid is that it empowers students voice and provides them with a venue through which they can express, produce, share and verbalize their learning.

Watch the video below to learn more about Flipgrid

The Countries Where The Most Workers Are Putting In 60 Hours A Week [Infographic]


It’s Friday but for many people around the world, that won’t signal the end of the working week. Many factors influence working hours, whether it’s downright necessity like in the case of healthcare or law enforcement, an individual’s drive, company expectations or cultural reasons in different countries. The OECD has shed light on the share of employees working mammoth 60-hour weeks in countries around the globe. Thankfully, the share putting in a shift longer than the 40-hour standard is still relatively low in most places, though it does rise alarmingly in a handful of countries.

In 2015, the latest year data is available, nearly a quarter of Turkish employees worked 60 hours or more per week in their main job. Many countries in Asia have earned poor reputations for work-life balance and in South Korea, the share working extremely long hours every week comes to 22.6 percent. In Japanese, a word even exists for “death from overwork” – karoshi. In recent years, the Japanese government has tried to clamp down and change attitudes towards long working hours, with employees tending to stay late or avoid taking holiday. Suicide cases and instances of people dying due to stress, whether it’s heart problems or strokes, have drawn attention to the scale of the problem. According to the OECD, 9.2 percent of workers in Japan still work over 60 hours every week.

The United States is also sometimes seen as a nation of workaholics and it’s well known that employees get a very raw deal on vacation days and paternity leave compared to other countries. However, very long working hours are a rare phenomenon in the U.S. with only 3.8 percent of people working 60 hours plus per week.

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Source: Forbes & Statista